"We only take the best of the best!" An unnamed narrator has applied to work at a company called Nova. Whether selected for the position or not, the decision will have life-changing repercussions.
This was originally written as part of the 2019 BookBoro Plot Twist writing contest.
The sun had finally set. The day was finally over. All was quiet—until that fateful knock on the door. It was time. Had I done it? The only way to know would be to open the door. If I had completed my tasks successfully, my prize would be waiting, and my life would never be the same. If they had deemed my work unsatisfactory, my life would be over. All I had to do was open the door.
My hands were shaking. I couldn’t remember if I had done it. I had been so tense all day, waiting for that knock on the door, that yesterday was a blur.
I couldn’t believe this all started two days ago with a newspaper ad. I’ve been out of work for months, so I’ve been checking everywhere I could think of, even the classifieds. It had finally paid off when I saw an ad for Nova. I had never heard of them, but I fit the qualifications listed. “We only take the best of the best!” the ad proclaimed.
I had called the number on an impulse. A voice—I couldn’t tell if it was a man, a woman, or a robot—had answered and asked what position I was applying for. I stated the position listed in the ad. The voice then explained what I had to do. I had twenty-four hours to complete my task, using only whatever I already had on hand.
Last night, I had called again to tell Nova that I was finished. Soon after that, a man in a suit had come to get the result of my day’s work. He had spoken only enough to tell me to expect him back tomorrow to tell me if I got the job or not.
Another louder knock snapped me out of my reverie. Hands still shaking, I opened the door. The man in the suit was waiting.
“You applied for a bakery position at Nova Restaurants,” he said. “The head chef judged your cake. Our decision is in here.” He held out an envelope.
I took it from him, and the man immediately turned around and left. I opened the envelope.